FERN GROTTO, KAUAI North of Lihue, the Fern Grotto is one of Kauai's most popular attractions. The grotto is a natural lava-rock grotto lush with hanging ferns. Once an exclusive destination for Hawaiian royalty, this stunning natural backdrop is only accessible via the Wailua River. In this serene setting, the grotto acts like a natural amphitheater. Taking advantage of the incredible natural acoustics, visitors are treated to musicians playing beautiful Hawaiian music. It's no wonder why this is a popular destination for wedding cermonies. WAIMEA CANYON, KAUAI Waimea Canyon, on Kauai's west side, is a 3,500-foot deep canyon that provides stunning panoramic views of crested buttes, rugged crags, and deep valley gorges. The grand inland vistas go on for miles, which is why Waimea is nicknamed "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific." The main road, Waimea Canyon Drive, leads you to several lookout points, offering breathtaking views of Kauai's dramatic interior. The road continues into the mountains and ends at Kokee State Park. There are numerous trails to traverse for beginners and seasoned hikers. You can pick up trail maps at the Ranger's Station, located at the Kokee Museum.
KILAUEA LIGHTHOUSE, KAUAI Perched at the northernmost tip of the Hawaiian Islands, the 52-foot Kilauea Lighthouse was built in 1913 as a beacon for traveling ships. The view off the rugged northern coastline makes this the perfect vantage point for photos. This is also the location of the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary for Hawaii's unique seabirds.
SPOUTING HORN, KAUAI On Kauai's south shore is the spectacular Spouting Horn. The Poipu surf channels into a natural lava tube here and releases a spout of water up to 50 feet high. You'll also hear a hiss and an eerie groan that is explained through Hawaiian legend. Ancient Hawaiians believed this coastline was once guarded by a giant moo (lizard). Everyone was afraid of the moo because it would eat anyone who tried to fish or swim in the area. One day a man named Liko entered the ocean. The moo went to attack him but Liko quickly swam under the lava shelf and escaped through a small hole to the surface. The large moo followed him and got himself stuck in the lava tube. To this day, you can hear the lizard's groan and see his breath spraying from the hole. The view from the Spouting Horn area is luminous at sunset. The Poipu Coastline is also a great vantage point to look for humpback whales or Spinner dolphins.
NAPALI COAST, KAUAI On the North Shore of Kauai, the incredible Napali Coast overlooks panoramic views of the vast Pacific Ocean. Along this spectacular coastline, you can walk among velvet green cliffs towering into the sky and cascading waterfalls plummeting into deep, narrow valleys. The only land access to this enchanted place is via the Kalalau Trail, an 11-mile trail that crosses five different valleys and ends at secluded Kalalau Beach. The hike into Kalalau is often challenging, and sometimes even dangerous, with narrow sections and heavy rainfall that can make the topsoil muddy. Many hikers choose to break the trail up into two days, setting up camp at the beach of Hanakapiai, then heading to Kalalau the next morning. Camping permits are required from the State Parks office in Lihue. A trail guide is recommended and hiking during the winter months is discouraged.
SOME OTHER ADVENTURES TO TRY...
HELICOPTER TOURS Kauai tours by helicopter are highly recommended. They range in price and offer differing amounts of time aloft, but are the only way to see awe inspiring views of scenic Napali areas. The pilots are well-informed and keep up a steady stream of interesting information. They also offer DVD's on many tours of your flight as well as the ability to purchase clothing and other momentos of your experience.
KAYAKING & ZODIAC BOAT TOURS & MORE These two modes of transportation will give you more access to many areas of Kauai that just hiking, biking or walking can't. There is a wide range of offerings and prices, depending on what you wish to see. Guides that we have had are quite good and can take you to hidden waterfalls and beaches or help you find sea caves and swim with the sea turtles.
There are so many adventures that await on Kauai - horseback riding, snorkeling, fishing, swimming with dolphins and sea turtles, ATVing, Zip-lines, rappelling down waterfalls, enjoying a luau, surfing - just to name a few. So kick back and relax or dive into your own sumptuous adventure and create memories to last a lifetime!